Surface faceting, low coverage in the Sherwins

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Mirkwook glades
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 1:00pm
Red Flags: 
37° 36' 39.9636" N, 118° 58' 20.514" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

I went for a quick afternoon tour in the Sherwins today to get a feel for how surface conditions were reacting to the warm temperatures. Areas exposed to the direct sun had softened up quite a bit with surface melt of 1-2cm pretty common on the ascent up the moraine towards the Mirkwood glades.  Loose surface facets dominate the more shaded aspects.  I did find a thin zipper crust below 9000’ but this was easy enough to ski through. While the recycled powder made for a pleasant descent the periotic crust layer kept me on my toes. My biggest takeaway today is that the snowpack is continuing to diminish. Probing periodically, I observed the snowpack to average around 50 cm in areas without significant wind loading with the deepest area observed only 80 cm deep.  Areas underneath old-growth trees have melted out completely and many rocks, logs, and small trees are reemerging. Needless to say, the obstacles are many and I found it necessary to move deliberately and keep an eye out for the sharks. Skiing the moraine back to the propane tanks went relatively smoothly considering the very thin coverage and the exposed sagebrush and manzanita. I suspect if the recent weather trends continue it won’t be long before we will be walking this final descent to the car. No signs of instability were observed on my tour today.

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

It was a beautiful day with blue skies light winds and warm temperatures. 

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